Shiva Lynn Burgos

Shiva Lynn Burgos (United States of America) will offer a workshop around The Women’s Tapestry Initiative – The Mariwai project and Akama Mima. According to the custom of the Kwoma people, women cannot participate in painting or sculpture, the main art form in their culture. They are active in the crafts of ceremonial dress and shell adornments, pottery and weaving. The women weave bilums (string bags) out of natural “bush cord” rolled by hand or from brightly colored woolen threads or nylon twine purchased from nearby markets. The woven patterns of the volumes also follow traditional designs linked to clan emblems as references to nature and modern patterns. Together with a group of village women, Shiva Lynn Burgos developed the Tapestry Initiative using embroidered tapestry as a means of artistic expression by sewing the thread onto a vinyl mesh of substrate which has a commercial purpose as a mosquito net. Together Burgos and the group have created a series of these tapestries that combine representation symbols, such as fish and birds, as well as vellum-style motifs and create a new art form in which women can participate fully. We have collaborated to date on dozens of tapestries. All sales benefit the health of the village, education and preservation of culture and the women weavers directly. Contributions are also to Akama Mima (Village Women), an initiative of the women of Kwoma aimed at supporting arts and cultures.